Saying Thanks

Dave · July 26, 2011 at 11:28 am · Filed Under Mariners 

I don’t want to spend too many posts on introspection, but I did want to take a minute and just thank everyone for the remarkable outpouring yesterday. It meant a lot to me and my family to see all the kind words from people we’ve never even met, and to know just how many people are standing with us as we give leukemia a long losing streak of its own. The words written – publicly by the likes of Shannon Drayer, Larry Stone, Geoff Baker, and Ryan Divish, among many others – and privately by so many of you who bombarded my inbox were really encouraging. The personal stories, the tales of surviving, the thoughts and prayers… it all meant a lot. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Also, just to make this somewhat Mariner-centric, I’ll chip in on Chuck Armstrong’s comments from yesterday that a Brandon League trade is “not likely at all”. I know there’s been some talk that, since the Mariners don’t have an obvious closer-in-waiting, they should hang onto League and keep him for 2012, since he’s under team control for another year beyond this one. However, I’d argue that if the M’s keep League, they’re taking on an awful lot of risk.

Obviously, we saw this last year with David Aardsma, who got hurt in the off-season, nuked his trade value, and the team saw a potentially decent trade chip return nothing at all. However, just beyond injury concern, relievers are remarkably inconsistent, and there’s no guarantee that League will even be a valuable trade chip next summer. He’ll probably earn at least $5 million through arbitration this winter, and he’ll be a rent-a-player at the deadline next year. The higher salary and lack of long term value means that he’ll need to be pitching really well in order to be in demand, and given reliever volatility, he could easily pitch his trade value right out the window.

The only reason to keep Brandon League would be if you believed this team could contend next year. Three weeks ago, that might have been a decent assumption, but it’d be hard to find anyone who really thinks this team is only a couple of players away anymore. There’s a lot of areas that need to be addressed, and the team can start addressing them by moving League for value this week.

Armstrong was probably just trying to paint a public picture that the team didn’t have to trade League in an effort to generate better offers, but the team should not be serious about keeping Brandon League past this Sunday. He’s going to have value, he’ll fetch a decent return, and rebuilding teams don’t need proven closers. Trade League for something that could help you long term and be willing to go find another reliever who can become the next “proven closer” in the future.


23 Responses to “Saying Thanks”

  1. Daron Andrew on July 26th, 2011 11:31 am

    He’s going to have value, he’ll fetch a decent return, and rebuilding teams don’t need proven closers. Trade League for something that could help you long term and be willing to go find another reliever who can become the next “proven closer” in the future.

    110% agree with this.

  2. BillyJive on July 26th, 2011 11:38 am

    Hey Dave,
    Sorry to hear about your situation but one thing I have noticed about you is that you are one strong willed guy and I’m sure you’ll beat this thing. Before I was a regular on this site I thought sabermetrics was something from Star Wars. I appreciate all the insight and I have learned a lot about the game of baseball. Good Luck in your fight, we’ll share some Jagerbombs when the M’s win the World Series!

  3. TumwaterMike on July 26th, 2011 11:49 am

    Dave, No one should have to go through what you’re going through right now. My hopes and prayers are with you and your family. If the M’s have a market for league they should sell him. They have Lueke and possibly Kelley in the wings (that is if he is OK). You can also make a closer out of someone if you have the patience.

  4. lordbison on July 26th, 2011 12:01 pm

    I’m really rooting hard for you, Dave. Much more so than the Mariners these days, that’s for sure. We’ve never met, but I was deeply saddened by your news yesterday. I wish you and your family the best.

    (at this point, i feel like the M’s should trade just about anybody.)

  5. Jay R. on July 26th, 2011 12:10 pm

    Chuck Armstrong making the ‘wrong’ move? Knock me over with a feather.

  6. robbbbbb on July 26th, 2011 12:10 pm

    What can the M’s realistically expect for League? I mean, if another team’s going to give you an A ball arm for him, you turn them down. But a AAA hitter on the cusp of MLB would be a very nice addition.

    Where, in between those two extremes, does a trade for Brandon League fall?

    (Good to know all the people rooting for you. The more the merrier.)

  7. Westside guy on July 26th, 2011 12:15 pm

    The single incontrovertible skill we’d all have to agree on regarding Jack Z is this – he doesn’t seem to have any trouble digging up another pitcher when he needs one. Whether it’s an innate skill of his, or whether it proves the assumption that it’s easier to find live arms than is generally believed, doesn’t really matter. Jack can probably replace League fairly easily.

    If we can get good value back for League, we shouldn’t hesitate to trade him. I agree with Dave 111% on that (take that, Daron Andrew!).

  8. Carson on July 26th, 2011 12:32 pm

    Jack has turned a closer into a pretty nice return before, so I’m sure he’s looking for good fits again. I look forward to seeing what they can drum up.

  9. Bremerton guy on July 26th, 2011 12:45 pm

    Finally, I agree. What good is a “proven” closer when the team rarely has a 9th inning lead?

  10. Auggeydog on July 26th, 2011 1:18 pm


  11. just a fan on July 26th, 2011 1:19 pm

    Getting League’s $5 million next year off the books would be helpful, but we still do need quality arms in the bullpen. Therefore, I am holding out for a near-MLB-ready regular for League. Just a simple league average C, 3B or LF. Even a DH/1B/LF!

    It’d be the equivalent of landing an All-Star given all the negativity surrounding those positions.

    I trust Zduriencik

  12. Pig on July 26th, 2011 1:20 pm

    Dave – I was traveling yesterday & couldn’t reply then — but please know that you have one more person in your corner with thoughts & prayers.

    My uncle is staying at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance awaiting his bone marrow transplant in 10 days & his medical team reports they have not lost a transplant patient yet. Keep strong & face your battle head on. If you come to Seattle I’m less than 10 minutes from SCCA & happy to provide support in any way. My uncle is also available to chat about his experiences – drop me a line if that would be helpful.

  13. Mekias on July 26th, 2011 1:38 pm

    I’ll be really disappointed if we don’t trade League. I love the guy but he’s a closer…and maybe only a one year closer if we give Aardsma his job back. The easiest way to make money as a baseball team is to put a decent reliever into the closer’s role, have him rack up saves and then sell him off to the highest bidder.

    Maybe my views are off but I say if a good reliever or closer pitches 1/3 or 1/4 of the innings that a good starter does, he’s only 1/3 to 1/4 as valuable. If another team thinks he’s more valuable and are willing to give up great young players for him, do that deal!

    League has pitched 38.2 innings. Fister, 139 innings. I don’t know how people think League is more valuable but that’s the magic of “the save” I guess.

  14. Swungonandbelted on July 26th, 2011 2:16 pm

    Mariners club president Chuck Armstrong told on Monday evening that a trade of League is “not likely at all – at this point.”

    I may be reading this 100% wrong, but what this really tells me is that Jack Z. doesn’t actually have control over roster decisions at this point. The cynical part of me wonders if How-Chuck is looking at the current state of the team with the record breaking losing streak, and seeing a bullseye on Jack’s back…..

  15. jwgrandsalami on July 26th, 2011 2:30 pm

    Zduriencik followed up today, telling Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio that “League is going to be here” but it is disturbing that Chuck Armstrong is commenting on things like player movement. It’s not his area, he’s an idiot and he should stay out of it.

    Him talking to the media about players that may or may not be traded would seem to indicate that this clown is still meddling into his GM’s business.

  16. robbbbbb on July 26th, 2011 2:34 pm

    So, when your boss comes in to your office and asks what you’re doing, do you tell him? And does he communicate with his superiors about potential personnel issues?

    I think so. It is not unreasonable that Zduriencik has control over the roster, but that he discusses his planning and direction with Chuck Armstrong. And part of Armstrong’s function is to be a senior manager who interfaces with the media.

    I think y’all are reading too much into this.

  17. stevemotivateir on July 26th, 2011 3:39 pm

    If a team really feels they’re a closer away from a real shot in the playoffs, and they’re willing to part with a top prospect, Jack will pull the trigger. Public statements like that from Chuck and Jack, are nothing more than words.

  18. nvn8vbryce on July 26th, 2011 4:25 pm

    Dave, thanks for being such an inspiration during such a trying time for you personally.

    I hope that you can give leukemia a losing streak of its own!

  19. G-Man on July 26th, 2011 5:41 pm

    I believe that most GM’s can’t make any significant trades without an OK from above.

  20. Breadbaker on July 26th, 2011 5:42 pm

    It doesn’t trip off the tongue, but “Leukemia: the July 2011 Mariners of Cancers” is still what I’m holding out for.

    As to League, one way to interpret what Armstrong said is that no one is going to pull a trigger for League until the Heath Bell situation is resolved.

  21. scott19 on July 26th, 2011 5:45 pm

    Dave — I know I’m kind of a punster of sorts on here at times, but I have learned even so much more about the game from reading and interacting on this site over the past few years. Godspeed and positive thoughts, my friend…we’re all pulling for you out here!

  22. DLCheeZ on July 26th, 2011 7:14 pm

    To the next person who talks to Armstrong –

    Please tell him to leave the roster alone and figure out how to beef up the fucking payroll.


  23. Adam S on July 26th, 2011 11:43 pm

    22 of the 25 guys on the roster (-King Felix, Ackley, Smoak) should be available in trade; well 25 of 26 since Bedard is on the DL. But I can understand why they might choose not to trade Pineda as well.

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